Design for Dreaming
- Publication date
- Public Domain
- Digitizing sponsor
- General Motors
Produced to bring the 1956 G.M. Motorama to audiences unable to see it in major cities, this fim introduces the new 1956 cars, Frigidaire's "Kitchen of Tomorrow," and the electronic highways of the future. G.M.'s "dream cars" of the 1950s, including the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket and the turbine-powered Pontiac Firebird II, are also displayed. One of the more self-consciously surreal films in our collection, Design for Dreaming often looks like a Hollywood musical. A Fifties-style sleeping beauty is awakened into a dream by a magician dressed in tails who hands her an invitation to the Motorama at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. She flies through the nighttime sky to the hotel, where she sees the milling crowds and marvels at the new cars. With the magician she expresses her desires ("I want a Corvette..."; "This Buick's a beaut...Oh, what a dreamy ride! I think that I'd like to buy it!") until suddenly an apron appears around her waist and he carries her into the "Kitchen of Tomorrow." She briefly laments the plight of woman but is distracted by the wonders of the machine that reads recipes off computer cards, the glass-walled refrigerator, and the hemispherical glass oven that seems to be able to make a cake with lighted birthday candles on top. Dancing through the kitchen, she contemplates the life of leisure made possible by its labor-saving devices ("Tick, tock, tick, tock, I'm free to have fun around the clock!") until her cake is ready. As she blows out the candles, she is transported back to the Motorama, where the "dream cars" are presented by models sporting various designer outfits of the time. Her magician guides her into the Firebird II, which seems to have inspired John DeLorean's innovations twenty years later, calls the traffic dispatch center by radio, and they are off onto the electronic highway of tomorrow. As they ride through a futuristic urban landscape incorporating building models and real slot cars, the couple sings a duet linking their love to technological progress. "Tomorrow, tomorrow, our dreams will come true/Tomorrow, tomorrow, we'll make the world new/Strange shapes will rise out of the night/But our love will not change dear/It will be like the sun burning bright/Riding away/When tomorrow meets today!"
Ken Smith sez: The ultimate '50s Futurrific film. Totally out of control. A woman with a Shirley MacLaine page boy hairdo is escorted by a guy wearing a gold ballroom mask to the G.M. "Motorama". The all-singing soundtrack assaults the ears, as a fourth-string Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald team shriek poorly-structured lyrics such as "Girls don't go to Motoramas dressed in a pair of pink pajamas." The "Dance of Tomorrow" is a high point, as is the electric racing set that's supposed to represent a freeway interchange of the future. "To-mahhhhh-row, To-mahhhhh-row, Our dreams will come truuuuuuuuue...." Your life will not be complete until you see this film.
20:02:12:00 - 20:02:17:00
TC: "Design for Dreaming" over city skyline at night
20:02:17:00 - 20:03:36:00
CU woman sleeping; track out to MS woman in bed with satin backboard and bright blue drape (simulation of starry night sky in BG); MLS woman in bed as handsome man, wearing tuxedo, top hat and gold eye mask, enters room; MS man gracefully presents her with an invitation (served on a silver platter); man magically disappears as she inspects the heart-shaped invitation; CU invitation reading "Special Invitation to the General Motors Motorama"; MS woman animatedly gets out of bed and dances across room to mirror; as she peers through the mirror her pink satin pajamas magically turn into a beautiful ball gown; she dances around and her invitation blows off the bed into the night sky; she leaps off her bed and into the air, flying past lighted city buildings; MS man in tuxedo, top hat and gold eye mask holding the invitation (sign reading "Information" over his head); woman lands and dances toward man; CU woman looking o.s.; MS man has disappeared and woman dances over to the invitation (suspended in the air); she takes it and dances o.s.
20:03:36:00 - 20:04:08:00
MS woman enters room and is greeted by man wearing tuxedo, top hat and gold eye mask; she presents her heart-shaped invitation as she politely curtsies (wall and balcony draped with black velvet and glitter); low angle MS woman looking over balcony with awed expression; high angle LS mass of people crowded around car displays; man directs woman's attention o.s. then magically disappears; woman looks around as theatre glasses appear in her hand; woman looking around intercut with shots of the crowd
20:04:08:00 - 20:05:32:00
MS mass of people gathered around something; woman in ball gown enters frame, running to see what people are looking at; she peaks around people and jumps up and down but cannot see; man in top hat, tuxedo and gold eye mask magically appears and walks over to her, lifting her up over the crowd; VS woman (lifted in the air) looking at a bright, red convertible on display; man carries her over to another display of a new, white car; MS car revolving on a turn table; man carries woman to another display of a new, white convertible; high angle MS convertible on display turn table; man carries woman to another display of a blue convertible; MCU rippling frame settles on woman in drivers seat of blue convertible, smiling; frame ripples; man carries woman away to final display of a silver Cadillac; MCU Cadillac as woman steps out of back seat; she gets out, opens an umbrella and has her photograph taken; magically umbrella disappears and a black and white striped cooking apron appears around her waist; she steps up onto the railing and swooningly falls over as man in tuxedo, top hat and eye mask catches her and carries her away
20:05:32:00 - 20:06:25:00
MS "the kitchen of the future"; man in top hat, tuxedo and gold eye mask enters carrying woman wearing ball gown; he sets her down and, with a twirl, he magically disappears; she looks around for him then, curiously, begins to search through the kitchen; MCU woman dancing around; she picks up a card and inserts it into a slot on the cabinet; CU picture of a cake appears on a screen in front of her; woman pushes a button and an electric beater lowers from the cabinets; another push of a button and beater begins to operate; woman walks over to "the refrigerator of the future" and with a push of a button it begins revolving and displaying food; MS woman looks o.s., surprised, as a cart carrying a cake pan moves toward her; she pushes a button and "the oven of the future" opens; she puts the cake in the oven, pushes a button and happily skips out of the room
20:06:25:00 - 20:06:56:00
MS marble post in middle of a room (plants and stained-window panes in BG); woman in ball gown enters frame and happily skips behind the post, out of view; she dances around the other side of the post wearing tennis attire and swinging a tennis racquet; she skips back behind post and dances around the other side wearing golf attire, twirling and swinging a golf club; she skips back behind the post and a bench appears; she skips around the other side wearing a swimsuit and big straw hat; she lays on bench and lifts her legs in the air; she hops up, skips behind the post again as the bench disappears; she skips around the other side wearing ball gown with black and white striped apron tied around her waist; she happily skips o.s.
20:06:56:00 - 20:07:14:00
MS "the kitchen of the future"; woman wearing ball gown and black and white striped apron enters kitchen, animated and happy; she turns off "the oven of the future" and removes a cake (already frosted with candles on it); she sets cake down on cabinet and the candles magically light; she closes her eyes and crosses her fingers, making a wish; low angle MCU woman blows out candles and a thick, dreamy smoke rises
20:07:14:00 - 20:08:04:00
Thick dreamy smoke fades revealing woman on stage dressed in ball gown; she walks to center stage smiling and twirling; high angle MS people in audience, applauding; MCU woman curtsies; CU woman grinning; high angle MS audience clapping in unison to a beat; VS woman dancing around performing on a stage; MCU woman stops and, as the lights fade, she throws glitter in the air
20:08:04:00 - 20:09:14:00
Low angle fireworks exploding against a black night sky intercut between VS cars being displayed on turn tables at a car show; women standing beside cars modeling designer clothing; car types include El Dorado, Centurion, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Impala
20:09:14:00 - 20:10:20:00
High angle MS people in audience looking up with awed expressions; MCU man wearing tuxedo, top hat and gold eye mask leaps into frame, looking sneaky and saying "Shhh"; MS people in audience looking into camera, all saying "Shhh"; MCU man in mask pointing o.s., amazed; MS man in mask standing beside "the car of the future" on display turn table, smoke all around; he opens door and motions an invitation to woman (o.s.); VS woman steps off ledge and magically glides down to the ground and, in slow motion, runs to the car; MS man puts wrap around her shoulders and they get in car; MCU people in audience looking into camera, awed; MCU man and woman sitting in car as top lowers; man's mask magically disappears, woman is surprised; man turns gadget overhead and talks into it; high angle CU front lights emerging from behind fender on "the car of the future"; man finishes talking and the rear fin of the car is seen as they drive away, leaving a thick dreamy smoke behind; MCU people in audience, awed
20:10:20:00 - 20:11:24:00
VS man and woman, both formally dressed, riding in "the car of the future" and looking around, awed; MS the road in front of them (it looks very smoky, futuristic and space-like); VS cars driving along "the highways of the future" (with "the cities of the future" in the BG); MCU man and woman look at one another and lean their heads together, smiling
20:11:25:00 - 20:11:27:00
TC: The End
I dreamt last night the moon was so bright it melted the walls away and it wasn't alarming when I saw a Prince Charming come into my bedroom and say . . . [Design For Dreaming woman sleeping bedrooms]
Let me persuade you to come to the place where tomorrow meets today. Oooh, Thank you it sounds very exciting. May I come just as I am? [Special Invitation to The General Motors Motorama hearts reaction shots]
Hey, girls don't go to Motoramas dressed in a pair of pink pajamas. Maybe they don't but I don't care, haven't got a single thing to wear. Quick, please, a gown. Oooh, I'll be the talk of the town. [excitement dancing mirrors dresses gowns]
Oh my! Go after it, fly! I followed my heart through the night past a thousand windows yellow with light. Down, down it fell, and it landed in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. [cities lights flying dancing Thelma Tad Tadlock transitions]
I'm a girl who happens to think that a brand new car is better than mink. Excited? Delighted. So glad I got invited. Since it's just a dream and involves no money which one would you like me to buy you, honey? [crowds reaction shots Motorama audiences]
They're all so beautiful, I really don't know, so let me go down, get the lowdown, and look at each one much closer. [opera glasses]
I want a Corvette. I thought you would. [Chevrolet Corvettes turntables Motoramas]
Oooh I want a Pontiac too. Okay, we'll have the usual two-car garage.
How do you feel about this fine Oldsmobile? It's easy to see myself taking the wheel.
This Buick's a beaut. I'll try it. Oooh, what a dreamy ride! I think that we ought to buy it. [special effects special efx ecstasy turntables pleasure dreams fantasies abandonment]
Let's go all out and buy a Cadillac too. I can hardly wait for this dream to come true. [umbrellas cameras flashes photographers photography]
Hey lady, your apron is showing. Better get her into the kitchen quick. Just like a man, you give him a break, and you wind up in the kitchen, baking a cake. [sexism gender roles sex roles housewives domestic labor women workers kitchens marriage slavery servitude capture captivity swooning fainting weakness kidnapping abduction wonder excitement surprise marvel]
But this was a kitchen like none I'd seen. Put a card in the slot and onto the screen pops a picture of just how your dish will look plus all the ingredients you need to cook. No need for the bride to feel tragic, the rest is pushbutton magic. So whether you bake or broil or stew, the Frigidaire kitchen does it all for you. [dancing kitchens Kitchen of Tomorrow Kitchen of the Future computers screens automation mixers appliances futurism futuristic technology refrigerators]
Don't have to be chained to the stove all day, just set the timer and you're on your way. Tick, tock, tick, tock, I'm free to have fun around the clock. Jeepers, I'm exhausted! Ring! The Kitchen of tomorrow is calling me. My cake is ready. [dancing kitchens Kitchen of Tomorrow Kitchen of the Future automation appliances futurism futuristic technology ovens cakes baking leisure sports tennis changing clothes golfing swimsuits bathing suits]
Time for the show, everybody on stage. And now, a glamorous dancer in a special number, Dance of Tomorrow. [Thelma Tad Tadlock fingers crossed crossing fingers transitions futurism futuristic dancing blowing out candles smoke applause crowds reaction shots audiences bows]
Everyone says the future is strange, but I have a feeling some things won't change. Now, the dream cars of tomorrow! [dance of tomorrow futuristic dancing futurism applause crowds audiences reactions twirls confetti fireworks drumrolls]
A magnificent El Dorado town car by Cadillac. Ensemble by Christian Dior of Paris. [dream cars fashions]
Buick presents the sleek Centurion. Driving coat by Montesano of New York. [dream cars fashions pets animals]
Oldsmobile's elegant Golden Rocket. Sports outfit by Pat Fremo of Los Angeles. [Primo dream cars fashions]
Pontiac's Club de Mer, open to the sky. Costume by Emilio of Capri. [dream cars fashions]
Chevrolet's Impala, graceful and swift. Silk casual by Digby Morton of London. [dream cars fashions]
Shhhhh . . . and last of all, designed for the electronic highway of the future, the fabulous, turbine-powered, Firebird II. Oooh, Ahhh. Why, it's you. [dream cars flying special effects special efx descending fur stoles ecstasy audiences reaction shots crowds Pontiac Firebird II Firebird 2 Firebird Two futurism futuristic automobiles fins tailfins]
Firebird II to control tower, we are about to take off on the highway of tomorrow, stand by. [radio communication headlights tailfins fins]
Tomorrow, tomorrow, our dreams will come true. Together, together, we'll make the world new. Strange shapes will rise out of the night, but our love will not change, dear. It will be like a star burning bright, lighting our way, when tomorrow meets today. [The End. futurism futuristic vehicles traveling romance couples automatic highways automatic roads automation amazement Christmas ornaments glass balls slot cars models model cities architecture end titles graphic design]
- Closed captioning
- Run time
Subject: I created a music video using this footage.
Subject: Romance of the Future!
Subject: How Do I receive the Legal Rights to this?
Subject: And 50 years later...
Dancer, actress and choreographer Thelma "Tad" Tadlock died here Dec. 8, 2000, at the age of 69. MSTies will surely remember her as the twinkle-toed female lead (dubbed "Nuveena" by Mike and the 'Bots) in the short "Design For Dreaming," featured in episode 524- 12 TO THE MOON.
A native of Port Arthur, TX, she began dance classes at the age of three. After graduating high school in 1949, she headed to New York City and soon landed a part in the stage show "Make a Wish." That was followed by work in more Broadway plays, including "Pal Joey" and "Me and Juliet". In 1955, she started work on television, as part of the chorus on the "Max Liebman Spectaculars." She next became a featured dancer on the "Hit Parade."
She left the show in the late '50s, along with choreographer Tom Hansen, Claire Gundermann and other dancers to form "The Tom Hansen Singers and Dancers" and become the featured dancer on the "Arthur Murray Dance Party" show. She later choreographed many of the Merv Griffin "Dance Fever" shows with Denny Terio, as well as working as a spokesman, actress, model and dancer for numerous commercials. She has worked on movies including "I Love You to Death," "Body Heat," and "Heaven's Gate," as well as the Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.
Subject: Great short, gorgeous 1950's woman.
Also as a response to Robin1990's review... I think it's hilarious that you feel have to tell us about The Jetsons as if it's some little niche cult show that few people have heard of rather than one of the more classic american cartoons of the last 50 years. It might have "flopped" in it's original prime time airing but it caught on almost immediately with children when it was rerun on Saturday mornings, and has been shown consistently in reruns ever since. It was so popular when I was a kid in the 80's that nearly 25 years after it originally aired they actually went back and made new episodes. And it didn't originally fail because of it's "outdated" vision of the future. That "outdated" vision of the future was never intended to be taken seriously in the Jetsons the way it was in these kinds of promotional shorts. "The Jetsons" was done that way exactly BECAUSE it was already so outdated and unrealistic. It was a JOKE. No, actually it was THE MAIN JOKE of the entire series.
Subject: Brilliant Camp
A must see of the Internet!
Also contains some very nice cars.
Subject: Loved it
Subject: Fun Film
Subject: My wife
Let the review begin:
I love this sooooo much that i have infact based my life on it. My wife Emma Raven Davis looks remarkably like the spirited young lady in the movie. Strangely, upon our first meeting i was wearing tops, tails and a mask. My dream is that one day they will design a time machine to take us back to those beautiful moments. I in fact own a car with a fin. I hand crafted it from MDF based upon the highway of tomorrow. If anyone is interested in swapping futuristic photos or letters, please contact the raven.
Young challenger, I would give this review five golden rings.
Subject: wonderful film
Subject: I love this film!
Subject: futuristic fantasy
prediction that hasn't quite materialized yet- 50 years later. Fun to watch, however.
Subject: A reason to live
When the road is dark and the night is cold crank up this baby and see what happens
Subject: Last night I dreamt I went to the auto show...
Maybe - but few dreams are as fabulous as "Design for Dreaming"
The cars are great, the high-fashion clothes are great, the "kitchen of tomorrow" is great. The only false note is when Our Girl tries her hand at modern dance.
While I would have like to have seen more refrigerators, I'm sort of weird. All in all, "Design for Dreaming" is a must-see
Subject: A fantasy with cars & cakes !
Subject: Relax, enjoy it!
Besides, I own a Harley Earl (the real one) designed car (my 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan), and Harley was selling EXACTLY what this spot portrays. In fact, HE was the one with all the wild designs, fins and chrome, and more! more! more! more! attitudes to foist on the American (and world) car buying population. Harley (the real one) started the fin & chrome races. Management? Phooey! He wasn't about management, he was about wild designs and jammin' it down our throats, and God bless him for it. The 50s and 60s would have been a lot more boring without it all. (And my old Caddy wouldn't be half as outrageously chromed, finned and bloated without 'em.)
Now calm down, Harley (the not real one), and enjoy this. If you want to rant, rant about how GM has invoked the name of Harley Earl on it's new cars... cars that the real Harley Earl wouldn't endorse with a gun to his head.
This is our past history. Enjoy it for what it was, and what we were. We ate this stuff up in the 50s, whether you want to believe it or not, and like it our not. Our parents waited breathlessly for each new model year. What an event it was every year. (Unlike today.)
This is truly great industrial film making at it's zenith! I applaud the wretched excess of it all. I just wonder how one bakes a cake WITH candles in it though... now that's REALLY amazing! Hey harleyearl... let's go for a ride in my '53 Caddie and laugh about it all. :-)
I wish I could give this 10 stars.
Subject: Motoramic Masterpieces
Most people today, especially the cadre of leaders and/or legions of employees who work at GM at the dawn of the new century, don't understand how this one man was the true architect behind GM's long-term success in the modern era.
Starting in the Sixties, Detroit completely lost what Earl gave Motown... MODERN LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES! In todayÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs auto world it's sad but true that GM and Ford are strictly followers when it comes to introducing brilliant new ideas and innovations (including original advertising themes) to the auto world. All these concepts almost exclusively come from the auto making dream factories of the Styling Leaders in Japan and Germany who donÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt take for granted that EarlÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂdriven-by-designÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ business paradigm is still the No. 1 reason for car sales today.
What's it all mean, DetroitÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs backward leaders (from Bill Ford Jr. to overrated car guys like Bob Lutz) will continue to loose ground and market share aiding in Ford & GM capitulating to whereby one or both of these auto makers will have to be financially rescued by the likes of a Toyota or Nissan in the next ten years time.
Concerned American Citizen
Subject: The Phantom of the Showroom
Subject: Design for Buying
Subject: Names of the stars revealed.
Subject: One of The CLASSICS!
Subject: Engaging film, both nostalgic and futuristic
Subject: Unbelievble Design
Step in this unbeliveble world of future design, and really enjoy it !You have no keyborad in frontof you - it's pushbutton control !
Rollin' Danny / germany
Subject: Technical Info
Subject: Design for Dreaming
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: Great film!